Is tequila vegan? Tequila is usually vegan and does not contain worms, unlike some people believe. However, watch out for flavored and cream tequilas containing dairy, which is an animal product and hence not vegan. Some cocktails mixed with tequila may have added animal products too.
Learn more about tequila, and what hidden animal products to look out for in the article below.
🥃 What is tequila made of?
Tequila comes from a succulent plant called blue agave. It is from Mexico and looks kind of like a giant pineapple. Tequila is made from its piña – the heart of the plant, which can weigh up to 90kg / 200 pounds!
💭 What makes tequila non-vegan?
As already mentioned, Tequila is usually vegan. However, products like added dairy cream make a Tequila non-vegan. This includes cream Tequilas and flavored Tequilas such as strawberry cream Tequila. Some cocktail varieties could include animal products too.
Common animal products in alcoholic beverages and cocktails could be:
- Albumen (egg white)
- Albumin (eggs or dried blood)
- Carmine (cochineal insect)
- Casein (milk)
- Charcoal or bone char (animal bone)
- Chitin (crab and lobster shells)
- Dairy and lactose (such as milk, or cream)
- Gelatine (connective tissues and bones of cows or pigs)
- Isinglass (fish swim bladders)
- Pepsin (pigs)
- Whey (a byproduct of cheese production)
- White sugar (processed through bone char in the United States)
- Worcestershire Sauce (sometimes contains anchovies or fish sauce)
🪱 What about the worm?
You may have heard that there is a worm in Tequila. One of the most common keywords googled regarding this topic is "tequila worm".
Tequila however does not contain any worms in the bottle! Mezcal on the other hand can have worms added to its bottle. The good news is that not all Mezcals will contain worms. The worm everyone is talking about is not actually a worm, but a larva from two types of moths that live on the agave plant.
The worms are called gusano and bottles of Mezcal that contain them are called con gusano. If a Mezcal says CON GUSANO avoid it since it contains worms, and is therefore not vegan.
🤔 What is Mezcal?
Mezcal is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from the hearts of agave plants. Mezcal translated into English means 'oven-cooked agave'. Tequila is a type of Mezcal, much like bourbon which is a type of whiskey.
🍹 Is Margarita vegan?
Yes, they are vegan as long as honey is not used as a sweetener. So make sure it’s not some “lemon-honey” margarita.
If you are living in the United States you may want to look out for white granulated sugar as well. If unsure ask your bartender or waiter/waitress, or just take a shot!
🌱 Vegan Tequila Brands
The following brands listed are selling vegan-friendly tequila:
- Casamigos Tequila
- Olmeca Altos
- Jose Cuervo
- el Jimador
- Ghost Tequila
- 1800 Tequila
- Don Julio
- Exotico Tequila
Please remember that excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages is harmful to your health. You should not drink alcoholic beverages during pregnancy and drinking alcohol impairs your ability to drive or operate machinery.
With the ever-changing food market and hidden animal products, it can get confusing in the grocery store. Find more articles like this in our 'Is it vegan?' section.